As we consider how best to support human wellbeing and productivity in the workplace, tech is a great place to start but there is an increasing need for it to work alongside nature, says Jayne Cox, co-founder of Fusion Spaces.
There is no escaping the fact that work is a huge part of our lives and this environment is increasingly coming under scrutiny. The penny seems to be dropping that work spaces are actually life spaces and currently these spaces generally don’t meet fundamental human needs.
So we are asking ourselves the question, "how do we improve these spaces so that they encourage human creativity and productivity, whilst supporting human wellbeing?"
We know that making a space that’s one size fits all is no simple task and it may not be possible to please everyone. However, we should consider the concept of marginal gains, so we can start by considering what small incremental changes can be made to meet the fundamental needs of a human being, living in a work space.
The provision of natural light, lighting that mimics natural light & working outdoors
As we consider how best to support human wellbeing and productivity we must begin with the giver of life, light. Scientists now deem it prescriptive and the average human is spending around 90% of their time indoors.
This huge amount of time is often under lighting that isn’t fit for purpose. Lets face it, solving the problem of how to see in the dark failed to consider the impact that lighting would have on human mental and physical health and how, in turn, that would negatively impact productivity.
The best light is natural light and a simple change of business culture would see that meeting, walking and talking outside is still work. Outdoor space can and does inspire fresh ideas and increase the human ability to problem solve. Nature is a natural resource that’s waiting to be tapped into.
Improving the quality of the environment
A work space is a controlled environment, not dissimilar to the environment of a factory farm, but for human output. With this in mind it’s impossible to expect quality productivity and an energised mind if we don’t make provision for the welfare of the people, who are both living and working in an indoor space.
Without careful consideration of how work spaces make someone feel, the quality of the air, temperature and acoustics, we can expect long and short-term health implications, leading to the loss of valuable talent and at an unacceptable cost to business.
Technology is a business necessity and while this innovation has improved our places of work, it’s also brought with it 24/7 connectivity and with it increased demands, overwhelm and stress.
Innovation is exciting, but innovation for the sake of it is stressful and wasteful. By introducing technological simplification we can meet the needs of the end users, reduce stress levels and cut business costs. By making solutions simple, in the long-term, they'll prove more cost effective.
There’s a place for tech and an increasing need for it to work alongside nature.
I believe business is ready to go free range. Don't you?
Join us, at Quora's Smartworking Summit on March 14th, as we explore the human need for nature and nurturing a more positive relationship with technology.
Find out more about human-centred tech at www.fusion-spaces.com or follow us on twitter @FUSIONspaces